Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The surname JONES has been busy in the settlement of the colonies since Elizabeth Joones arrived in the Patience, 1609. The gradual spread of the surname westward continued until the states became settled.

The following map shows the states that have a town (or county), that uses the surname JONES.
The data are taken from a U.S. atlas (index) in 1998, and might now have additional or deleted locations. Twenty (20) states have a town, city, or county named with the JONES surname. From just plain JONES (Alabama) to JONESBORO (Arkansas), to JONESVILLE (Louisiana), to JONESPORT (Maine), to JONES CREEK (Texas), the JONES family seemed to settle. The last westward location seems to be Colorado which was settled around 1859 when that gold was discovered.

The figure to the right outlines the states alphabetically that have a JONES... name. The estimated population in 1998 is given, showing that JONES (county) Mississippi leads in population, with just at 62,000 folks. JONESBORO Arkansas would be next with around 46,000. I am certain that these numbers have changed, but the general idea shows that a wide range of folks are numbered.

Does anyone have an update on the information shown? If you are aware of a JONES...town(s) that is not listed, please identify it. Leave the name and location in a comment to this post. If you live in one of these towns, cities, or counties, please given some history to your town. There must have been a JONES family that gave the name to your settlement.

The information was taken from The Jones Genealogist, Vol.X, no. 2, July/August, 1998.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Genealogy One-on-One

The JONES surname is perhaps one of the most difficult surnames for the genealogist to explore. After more than 50 years of climbing my own JONES tree, I have certainly fallen off a few branches.

Starting a Bed and Breakfast more than 10 years ago, I hoped to provide a place for the genealogist to search their JONES surname. Over the years many have come to get help by using the genealogy resources, mostly in the Joseph Wheeler Jones Memorial Library, and The Jones Surname Museum. Occasionally, folks have asked for my personal help. It occurs to me that there may be others who are stuck, or need help along the branches. Mentoring genealogy, what a thought! I have posted "The Brick Wall Protocol", written some years back, to help some climb their branches, and go around some of their brick walls. See:


Any interest in perhaps a week-end workshop, or help session at the B&B? Genealogy mentoring...I would call it : Genealogy One-on-One.

Friday, November 11, 2011

First JONES To Gray's Inn 1568

From the reign of Edward III, 1327-1377 AD, the "Inns of Court" have occupied a key position in the educational system of the English nation. Devoted to the technical study of English law, (rather than Roman law), which had become extensive and intricate. This system of law had its roots in the native or common law of the land.

The earliest "Manor House" of Gray's Inn was the London residence of the De Gray family. This family had strong ties with Wales, ever since Reginald de Grey was Justiciar of Chester around 1277 AD. Their legal interest lead many of the family to live and work here, ultimately forming the "Honourable Society of Gray's Inn."

The "Register of Admissions Gray's Inn, 1521-1889", by Joseph Foster, records the first to carry the JONES surname 1568. On page 37, this records that Thomas Jones (folio 574) and Owen Jones(folio 576) were registered. For my own JONES family interest, on the same page are recorded 1) George Lightfoot (folio 573) 1576, and Thomas Lucas (folio 574) 1567. The surnames Lightfoot and Lucas were to play an important part in my own JONES family history.

Way to go...Thomas and Owen...taking the surname JONES to Gray's Inn.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A New Blog: Cadwallader Jones

For those of Welsh descent or have an interest in the JONES surname, I am starting a new blog called Cadwallader Jones. I wish to tell his story using the documents that have been uncovered during the last 25-30 years of my tree climbing. An interesting story indeed! If interested, the link is:


...a good JONES surname account.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Jones Surname to Ireland (Part II)

It was not until Henry VIII pulled the English Church out of the Roman Catholic Church and required all Welsh to adopt the English system of laws and names (Act of Union, 1536), that the name JONES begins to widely appear. In 1500 there were only six (6) JONES surnames appearing in the English legal documents, and none (0) in Wales. In 1558, there were 134 JONES surnames [England], and 115 JONES surnames in Wales! I have seen several writers interpret this finding as the surname JONES beginning in England. However, it was the Welsh in areas that came under the control of English laws that took the surname JONES. Thus, first and foremost, the JONES surname is Welsh. This would also be true for the Welsh naming system as it was changed under English law.

The JONES surname concentrated around Dublin, with around 10 JONES families having arms recorded in Burke by 1840. Other Irish counties having JONES families with arms were, Meath, Kildare, and Wexford. [All being close to Dublin.] On the northwestern coast, Londonderry, Leitrim, and Sligo had JONESES. I would suspect that these JONES families began their history around Dublin, and branched out from there.

I have not had the opportunity to research Irish records regarding the first appearance of the JONES surname. Does anyone know the date and location? Please post a comment.